FDA regulation the other shoe to drop..

March 17, 2009 - Convenience Store / Petroleum (CSP) Special Report: this is the fourth a four-part CSP Daily News series on how the industry is reacting to the federal excise tax on tobacco that begins in April.

With a new president and larger Democratic majorities in both Houses, the measure H.R. 1256 --known as The Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act --is revived and passage is all but certain. Two major players are not opposing this bill: Philip Morris USA and NACS (Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing). Asked about the resuscitated bill, NACS' senior vice president of government relations Lyle Beckwith reiterated the group's position that it would not oppose the bill-nor support it-as long as certain key provisions are maintained.

For Tobacco-Free Kids, the political environment on Capitol Hill is, for health advocates, controlled giddiness. After eight years of steady defeats, the anti-tobacco crusader is about to celebrate its biggest victory right on the heels of the SCHIP law, which raised federal taxes on almost all tobacco products to fund the State Children's Health Insurance Program. "Our hope is the bill will sharply reduce smoking and overall tobacco use," said Eric Lindblom, the group's director of policy research. "We don't see this as meaning the end of cigarettes or the right to smoke. But we do see this helping to further educate the public about the inherent risks of consuming tobacco products."

Alternative bill: Bill Godshall, executive director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, is lobbying on behalf of an alternative proposal, H.R. 1261, Youth Prevention and Tobacco Harm Reduction Act pushed by Reps. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) that in place of FDA, would create a new agency within the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to regulate tobacco products.

Our goal is to push smokeless," he said. "It is proven to be less harmful than cigarettes and the public needs to know it. Waxman's bill treats all tobacco as if they're equally bad, and that's just not the case."

Also endorsing the Buyer-McIntyre measure is R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which, in a PowerPoint presentation obtained by CSP Daily News, said that the proposal "encourages development of new tobacco products that have potential to reduce health risks (leading to ongoing demand for tobacco leaf)...(and includes) more reasonable regulation of advertising and merchandising of tobacco products." Aides to Sen. Richard M. Burr (R-N.C.) said he plans to introduce a similar bill in the Senate that would put regulation within the HHS instead of the FDA. According to an Associated Press report, he and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) are introducing a compromise bill that also would ban tobacco advertising in magazines and newspapers and prohibit the words "light," "mild," "ultra-light," "medium" and "low" from being used as descriptors of tobacco products.

Reference: CSP Special Report: Tobacco on Fire Pt. 4
FDA regulation the other shoe to drop, though alternative plans emerging
by Mitch Morrison, CSP Daily News, 3/12/2009.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: U.S. House committee approves FDA tobacco regulation bill..; U.S. House considers legislation for FDA to regulate tobacco..; U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce - legislation to regulate tobacco..; Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids - Need for FDA Regulation of Tobacco..; February 2009 - legislation FDA to regulate tobacco..; FDA Regulation Likely for Tobacco - Let's Do It RIGHT..; President--Elect Barack Obama and Tobacco..; Revise Senate's Version FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill..; FDA tobacco regulation - bill distorted in current form..; AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP.."; More - Lorillard-Newport - FDA proposed tobacco regulation..; FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill Overwhelmingly Passed U.S. House..; House to Vote on FDA Regulation of Tobacco..; Bush administration opposes legislation to give FDA authority to regulate tobacco products...; With U.S. FDA tobacco regulations on the horizon Altria already preparing to circumvent the law..; Public health experts are questioning why menthol flavoring in cigarettes, received special protection as Congress tries to regulate tobacco..; Lorillard Tobacco opposes US FDA bill to regulate tobacco..; FDA regulation moves a step closer..; On Tuesday April 1, 1970 President Richard Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect in January 1,..; FDA regulatory control tobacco bill is voted forward..; Reject Proposed Legislation That Would Add Responsibility For Tobacco Regulation to the FDA..; FDA Head: 'No' to Tobacco Cigarettes too "inherently dangerous" to regulate; would "undermine mission."; Federal tobacco regulation backed...; On July 18, 2007, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee postponed a vote on the bill - which would for the first time allow...